The rise of extremism is now wide spread. We thought it was restricted to those who would seek to bomb us or to just terrorise us in any way they could. More recently terrorism has become a blanket term for many things. We are rapidly losing our sense of perspective. People are being held under terrorism laws that were never intended to be used for the purposes they are being.
In America the rise of the Tea Party has seen a new kind of extremism. The party is now in decline however many believe that such a disorganised group can rally after the elections this year and seek new targets or goals in public office. Here in the UK we have seen more recently the rise of UKIP, prior to them the BNP were seeing a surge in their poll ratings but financial issues and dissention in the ranks have halted them. UKIP was a more acceptable face for extremis here.
What we are failing to see is that groups that would try to enact laws against others on the basis of gender, sexuality or skin colour are themselves terrorists. What else could we call it? Is it not the case that large groups of ethnic minorities now fear being booted out or attacked in the street? If you tell people long enough and often enough that the foreigners are the reason their life isn’t going anywhere then they will eventually believe you. As we start to voting in extreme right groups all across Europe has anyone given a thought as to how those people feel? Is that not the point though, we have ceased seeing them as people they are just “the other”.
Throughout history groups have persecuted others. Let us never forget that it wasn’t just Jews that the Nazis went after. They also sought out homosexuals and disabled people. It was the British who were responsible for the first uses of concentration camps in the Bohr War. It was the British who developed Eugenics, the very ideas that Hitler based his actions on. Indeed, Winston Churchill himself supported the theory at one point. The problem is now, as Prince Charles has found out this week, when you start comparing people to Hitler or the Nazis people either switch off or roll their eyes. Nobody can be as bad as him. So we turn a blind eye. It is exactly this behaviour that will result in the repeating of what happened between 1939 and 1945.
In an effort to save ourselves from the threat of terrorism we are now, perfectly happy, to expose minorities in our own communities, people who, whether you like it or not, are part of our community, to terrorism. We should all stop and take a cold hard look in the mirror as we continue down this path of enacting loose anti-terrorism laws that take away our own freedoms and amendments to immigration policies that harm the vulnerable whilst also appearing to the rest of the world as racist or xenophobic.